Hadithi Crafts
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Mkeka Baskets

MKEKA BASKETS

The ladies of Kideloni women's group make large, strong and basic baskets from indigenous palm leaves grown in Kajire (Sagalla Hill). The further finishing with fabric, leather or beads makes these baskets very practical and pretty.



ABOUT THE LADIES

ABOUT THE BASKETS

The ladies of Kideloni Women’s Group live in Kajire and weave mkeka leaves into baskets. Kajire is a relatively new settlement, only 40 years old, and lies at the base of Sagalla hill near Voi town. Most inhabitants are Duruma, which is one of the smaller sub-tribes of the Mijikenda who live in Kenya’s coast province.

People in Kajire have limited access to water, and, like most Mijikenda, rely on subsistence farming. Unfortunately there is insufficient rainfall in Kajire, so crops often fail.

In October 2012 the ladies of Kideloni started weaving baskets together as a women’s group, to generate an income to improve their lives and to earn money to send their children and/or grandchildren to school. Currently sixteen ladies weave baskets from mkeka. Weaving this type of baskets goes a long way back in their history and is a tradition of the Mijikenda tribe.

This ideal shopping or laundry basket is woven from Mkeka, a type of indigenous palm that grows on Sagalla hill, After buying the baskets in Kajire from the Kideloni Women’s Group, we take them to the Hadithi Crafts HQ and assure the further finishing.

The khanga shopper is finished at the Wildlife Works eco-factory where they are lined with pure cotton Khanga fabric. Every Khanga has a saying on it, offering words of wisdom. We make them the main feature of these mkeka bag so that each basket has its own message.  

The leather shopper is made in a nearby town called Voi to be finished by a talented leather craftsman called Ezra.

The laundry basket is made by Neema women's group, by hand stitching beads onto a piece of organic canvas cotton, which then is hand sewn onto the basket.